As some of you know, I’ve been book blogging for just a little over a year now. In the grand scheme of things, that isn’t very long but a lot of things can happen in a year. Change is inevitable during this time, so it’s always good to reflect upon where we are, where we’ve come from and where we’re going. I think that that’s an important part of personal development, so today I thought I’d consider how blogging has impacted me as a reader.
Things that Changed
1. I read more.
I used to average a book, maybe two a week. After I started blogging, I’ve come to average two, occasionally three books a week.
This is an interesting discovery to me because I blogging takes up a fair bit of time, so how did I find even more time to read? I think partly I’ve just been more motivated to read instead of doing nothing. Though I’ve also come to make better use of my time. Those times that I used to sit around for ten minutes here and there, just daydreaming aren’t so frequent anymore. Aside from that, I hardly play games on my phone anymore either, opting instead to read.
2. I read more widely (within YA).
My preferred genre has always been contemporary fiction, though I did enjoy a good fantasy or science fiction book here and there. Blogging has expanded that horizon and I’ve read books in the past year that I most likely wouldn’t have, if not for blogging.
The first book that comes to mind is More Than This by Patrick Ness (my review), which I only read because Asti loves Patrick Ness so much. I hadn’t heard of him prior to blogging and I doubt I’ve looked at any of his books on the library shelves. I’m so glad I didn’t miss out on this tremendous book thanks to blogging and Asti.
3. My TBR list expanded. A lot.
I think this goes without saying. The more blogs I read, the more books I discover. The more books I discover, the more books I want to read. This is why I try to only add books that I truly intend to read. Once in a while I sort through that list and remove books I no longer wish to read.
4. I occasionally take notes wile reading.
Prior to blogging I rarely bothered with taking notes, unless I was reading non-fiction. When it comes to reviewing books, it can be very helpful to have those notes to refer to.
5. I pay more attention to the prose.
This means that I make a conscious effort to see which point-of-view has been adopted and which tense a book is set in. Multiple point-of-view are obvious but the difference between first person and third person can be very slight if you’re caught up in the plot.
Also, I realized that sometimes the reason a book made me feel unsettled was the tense. Yet prior to blogging, I wouldn’t have been able to explain why. Some books just don’t work in present tense, yet they stubbornly have been forced to conform to the apparent norm. Now I’m much more aware of this.
6. I’ve become a more active reader.
I love a good book to unwind. But now my mental processes are a lot more active, taking note of the little things that previously were left to the subconscious.
Things that Didn’t Change
1. I predominantly read YA.
I’ve been reading young adult fiction for practically half my life now. I don’t see this changing in the near future. However, since I’ve been reading more, this does give me a chance to read a lot more books as well that aren’t YA.
2. Not finishing a book is difficult.
In fact, I didn’t even occur to me chuck away a book until I noticed that a fair number of bloggers do this. Not finishing makes me feel somewhat guilty. Plus, even if I’m not enjoying a book, it’s interesting to see what it is about a book that bothers me.
3. I hate spoilers.
Spoilers ruing the element of surprise, which is an important factor for me when I read. Even though I have no qualms looking up spoilers for TV shows, when it comes to books, spoilers make me rage. This is why I unfollow people on Tumblr when they post spoilers, even if it’s for books I don’t plan to read.
4. Goodreads is my go-to website for books.
Goodreads has been a wonderful book discovery tool all along. And I like tracking my reading. For that Goodreads is extremely useful. In fact, if I had to give up either Facebook or Goodreads, I wouldn’t hesitate to give up Facebook.
5. I do not write in my fiction books.
Even though I’ve taken to taking notes, I don’t do that in the margins. I use post-its, or jot down my thoughts in a notebook. If I don’t have a notebook with me, I’ll write on scrap pieces of paper or type my notes on my phone but for the most part, I prefer to handwrite.
Ebooks on the other hand are great because I can highlight liberally without leaving any permanent marks.
6. I hardly re-read books.
There are so many great books out there, waiting to be read. Every book that I re-read is one less additional book I could’ve read. Also, see #3 with regards to that element of surprise that I seek. Re-reading nixes that.